- 21 November 2008 | Windsurfing
In 1979 a group of Virgin Islands windsurfers created the Hook-In-Hold-On, a multi-day island-to-island windsurfing race. It quickly became the sports greatest event, but disappeared when sponsor Johnnie Walker pulled the plug in 1986.
The event returned in 1993 under the auspices of Andy Morrell who had placed first in the last Johnnie Walker edition of the event. It was a different sport in the 1990's but Morrell and his team had a vision to re-create the event combining great inter-island windsurfing with a catamaran flotilla and complimented by fun parties.
The 1980's events saw all racing take place on longboards with the F2 Lightening and Mistral Equipe dominating the results. Freestyle competition was sometimes included in the overall result and there was also a formidable "Cruising Class" of competitors who took a little longer to get from island-to-island. Back then the event started and finished in St Thomas and saw long upwind legs.
The obvious change in the 1990's was shortboard racing. The "new" HIHO would sprint up to the top of the BVI's, then spend the rest of the week coming downwind. Also, by the late 90's sponsor Neil Pryde was shipping a container of equipment to the event which meant racers could travel light and use new Neil Pryde sails.
25-years later the event is still going strong with great support from Highland Spring Water and the BVI Tourist Board, plus windsurfing industry support from Neil Pryde and yachts from The Moorings. A new sponsor for 2009 is Red Stripe beer.
- 19 November 2008 | Windsurfing
2009 will see the Raceboard and Mistral One Design World championships held in Germany on the Baltic Sea at the seaside resort town of Warnemünde.
The World Championships are scheduled to run from July 7 - 11 with the German Raceboard and RS:X Championships occurring just prior between the 4 and 6 July.
There will be the following divisions:
• Raceboard 9.5 m2
• Raceboard 7.5 m2
• Mistral One Design
While this is a World championships, event organisers are trying to make this open to all and are encouraging as many people to attend as possible even if there skills are not at the elite level.
They have stated that they are keen have a longboard festival atmosphere with no one intimidated about attending. Event organiser Murat Tueten said, “No one should be thinking this is a world championship, only for the best sailors what shall I do there. This will be the biggest longboard festival for many years, and all should attend”.
Murat also said that there will be special prices for the nations with the most sailors (besides GER), sailor who made the longest trip, sailor with the oldest equipment, the youngest and oldest sailors.
- 18 November 2008 | Windsurfing
The Sandy Pt Speed Fortnight is the premier speed event in Australia, organised by Al Green from Caloundra QLD.
The 2008 event was held at the end of September. Australia's fastest riders travelled across the country to gather at the speed mecca of Sandy Point, in Victoria.
The first week of the contest did not deliver much wind. A series of small cold fronts came through at the start of the second week, offering some relief to the riders. The conditions were square and moderate during Monday, but as the tide came in the wind picked up.
Chris Lockwood flew over to catch the best 2 days of wind and set the best time for the event reaching peak speeds over 43 knots, and scoring a 5x10 second average of 40.9 knots using the Carbon Art SP40 and a 6.6m sail.
The next day brought more wind but at a broader angle. Many of the riders achieved their best speeds on this day. There were plenty of Carbon Art speed boards on the course, with some of the riders getting to try them for the first time.
1. Chris Lockwood : 40.923
2. Dan Engdahl : 40.817
3. Sam Parker : 40.193
4. Michel van der Pligt : 39.251
5. Craig Hollins : 38.483
6. Chris Adamson : 38.233
7. Andrew Daff : 38.018
8. Nick Edwards : 37.093
9. John Rohrsheim : 36.922
10. Chris Dimond : 36.815
11. Shelby Riley : 36.512
12. Luca Sansalone : 35.008
13. Trevor Brown : 34.828
14. Mathew Robertson : 34.351
15. Chris Christensen : 34.217
16. Mal Wright : 34.158
17. Martin Love : 34.11
18. Rick Packham : 33.993
19. Ian Knight 33.625
20. Craig Hammond : 32.999
21. Andrew Donovan : 32.316
22. David Flanagan : 32.022
23. Dale Jones : 31.994
24. Al Green : 31.994
25. Grant Larkin : 31.265
26. Tom Chalko : 31.018
27. Tony Wynhoven : 30.403
28. Alastair Ryan : 29.118
29. Adam Craven : 28.937
30. Dale Keating : 27.124